California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday proposed a constitutional amendment that would expand gun control measures in the United States. The amendment would raise the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21, require background checks for all gun sales, ban assault weapons, and institute a waiting period for gun purchases.
Newsom, a Democrat, has been a vocal advocate for gun control in the wake of a number of mass shootings in recent years. He has repeatedly called for Congress to pass stricter gun control laws but has been unsuccessful.
The governor’s proposal comes after the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen resulted in the elimination of a slew of gun control laws across the country.
“The time for action is now,” Newsom said in a statement. “We cannot wait any longer to address the gun violence epidemic in our country.”
Newsom’s proposal is unlikely to be passed by Congress, as it would require the support of two-thirds of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. However, Newsom said that he is hopeful that the amendment could be passed by state legislatures and ratified by the states.
“This is a long shot, but it is worth fighting for,” Newsom said. “We cannot give up on the fight to end gun violence.”
Newsom’s proposal has been met with mixed reactions. Gun control advocates have praised the proposal, while gun rights advocates have criticized it.
New Jersey gun control advocate Lisa McCormick explained that Newsom’s proposed constitutional amendment would add four specific firearm restrictions to the federal Constitution.
“The amendment would raise the federal minimum age for all gun buyers to 21, a federal rule that already applies to handgun purchasers, but 18-year-olds are allowed to buy rifles and shotguns,” said McCormick. “Governor Newsom would require a reasonable waiting period between the time a person pays for and receives a gun, like the 10-day waiting period California has.”
“Governor Newsom would require background checks for all gun buyers, closing the gun show loophole in our federal law,” said McCormick. “He would also prohibit civilians from purchasing assault weapons, a ban that California and New Jersey have in place.”
“While I would scrap the archaic and obsolete Second Amendment entirely and say it would also make sense to outlaw or more strictly regulate handguns, these four measures are common-sense steps that would help to reduce gun violence in our country,” said McCormick. “Everyone is aware that amending the Constitution is a difficult process, but it is necessary to take action to reduce gun violence in America. I will support Governor Newsom’s proposed constitutional amendment.”
Speaker Kevin McCarthy tweeted: “Hey Governor Newsom, The 2nd Amendment already exists—we don’t need a 28th. But what we do need is for Presidential aspirants to stop pushing their extreme positions nationally.”